Thursday, March 31, 2016

Getting beat by the heat

First let's start with the paintball video:

All the kids didn't participate but all attended except one, who was running an errand for with the female chaperones.  The guys and I held it down with the paintballing.  While I tried not die of heat stroke Mr Blackmon and Mr Swann yelled out battle strategies and proper protocol to the boys.... Yet another reason I'm grateful for my chaperones.  It's a great blend of the masculine and feminine energy that they need to help them flourish while outside of their comfort zone. 

I promise you that we have taken many many precautions to beat the heat but this heat is serious.  One of the students got sick, we are assuming it was from the heat, his parents were contacted we let him rest.  We also relieved him of his duties at the volunteer location and let him rest with Gatorade.  

Since it was sooooo hot we started off our time with riddles.  We just sat in the shade and Amanda (one of the assistant directors) and I translated the riddles into English and Spanish so that both groups could understand and get the chance to respond.  The kids had to raise their hands and wait to be called on to answer.  If they were correct they could get a piece of candy.  This was actually pretty fun.  Some riddles got lost in translation becaus the play on words didn't match.  For example, our popular riddle "what's black and white and red all over" doesn't work because the color red and the verb to read aren't homophones like in English so in Spanish it makes no sense whatsoever!!! We still made the activity happen.  

Once it the sun started to set the kids started playing as they always do.  While playing one of the students twisted his ankle but nothing too serious, and his family has also been notified.   Coincidentally, he was roommate with the student who wasn't feeling well so once we get back to the school I took them back to their host family to make sure their host mother put a ice pack on the hurt ankle and gave plenty to drink for the possible dehydration.  

While I was there I took it upon myself to take pictures of their house!  Aren't you happy that I'm so nosy!!! You know you want to see it!! Well here you goes GS3, Alpha, and Nokio's homes:

Indoor garden

So say they love it there and they love the family sooo if they love it I love it too.  I hope to post more home pix tomorrow, I've asked the boys to send me pix so I  can put up nosy-people posts by household.  If you're reading this, it's already Friday in Atlanta... Have a great day!  

*we won't volunteer tomorrow, instead we wil go to a cultural Mayan event!*

Paint ball fun and Lunch at Burger King

As planned the boys enjoyed a good game of paint ball.  

Them seemed to enjoy themselves.  The weather here is SWELTERING!!!! It's 100° so we've been making frequent water/ Gatorade stops.  Check this week's temperatures.

After paintball we went to eat at a nearby Burger King.  We are now on our way to volunteer.  

All is well

The students are finishing up classes now and we will shortly head out to the paintballing place.  Thank you again for the other round of Western Union $23 transactions.  If you haven't sent you bus money yet please do so as soon as you can.  

All is well here.  I will send you all individual text message about the talk we had with the students about school happenings while we are in our happy Mexico bubble. 

I'll be updating the blog soon!  Stay tuned... 

30/3/2016 volunteer videos street vender

Clap games with the girls

Push up drills

New pretty friend- I had to get them away from her and back to work!  Funny how much Spanish they knew all of a sudden. 

Look at all the garbage we picked up... From just a small section.  There's still lots of work to be done. 

Paintball rescheduled, and volunteering

After lunch we met up at the school at 4. I was late because I had to pick up money at western union.  If you haven't sent your portion yet please send to: 

 Erica Pereira
In Mérida Mexico

Then please text me the transaction number.  

So basically Western Union must think I'm laundering money or something because when I gave them my list of transaction numbers sending me money from the US, the employee decided to consult the manager.  I explained the situation but just in case they act crazy when I go to collect more money tomorrow... Who's going to organize my bail money gofundme account?!?!?! (Just kidding)

Dr Malik and Ms Culbreth's bus never came to get them from home to our private bus so I told them to go home and take the evening off, Mr Blackmon, Mr. Swann, and I had it covered.  The boys decided that they rather go to paintballing tomorrow after classes so they'll have more time.  I can't wait to see this!! Stay tuned!!

Today's assignment was to once again exercise with the kids then to clean up litter and garbage from the neighborhood field.  We spent most of the time doing that, but still included tree climbing and play breaks.  Watching so many friendships develop is beyond awesome!

Sheldon has an admirerer, a very CUTE admirer!! 

Clap games with the girls 

Silly bus fun!

Waiting for buses back home

More pix from yesterday and Monday below: 

Atlanta meets Mérida

The BEST chaperones a girl could ask for!!! I LOVE this crew 💗💗💙💙

We are all doing great.  Everyone is getting along with everyone so well and all the happiness just spills over to their teachers, the host families, and the volunteer community.  Good job boys!  Keep up the good work, this is only the beginning we have a whole world to see. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Getting passed by, eye drops, paintball, and Western Union

My breakfast

This morning we were all late to class because the buses kept passing us by.  That's just how it is.  Once they are full, or if the driver is in a mood they pass you.  The teachers and host families say they also get the same treatment so it's no because we are "foreigners" it's more like we are being given the local treatment. 

"Mérida for all"
This is imprinted in the concrete all over the city.  Since we wait for the buses for so long we have time to take pictures of things like this, LOL! 

We all finally got to school and classes begun right away.  While the kids were in class I walked to a nearby pharmacy with one of the students who is having an eye issue.  His eye is irritated and red, it looks like an allergic reaction to something.  The pharmacist looked at it and prescribed him the needed eye drops.  He's doing just fine and his family was notified.   Our student who was sick with a stomach ache a few days ago is back at 100% the next day and we are happy to have him back with the crew. 

Eye drops

After returning from the farmacy, Mr. Swann and I walked to a nearby paintball field and arranged for us to go paint balling after lunch right before our volunteering.  The paintball center provides all equipment and 100 paintballs for $55P.  Do the math and you see it's a great deal!  The kids are excited. 

After arranging the paint balling I went to Western Union, but I was unable to withdraw the money because I needed my original passport not just a copy. I'll go back after lunch and before paintballing.  

So far everything's great.  Everyone is happy, they are being spoiled by their host moms, rashad, Omar, Brenden, and Jordan have a jacuzzi at their house!  Here is a pic of them with their host sister. 

She's 25... She's not interested.. Don't jump to conclusions.  The boys WISH!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 2 volunteer videos

Art projects have begun

Clap games with the kids of el Renacer Del Mayab.  Did you think my amazing young men would forget about paying with the girls?!?!  Nope not at all, they know how to connect with everyone, that's what makes my Best Boys so special!!!

Here are a few more pix

The city map that GS3, Alpha, & Nokio's mom made for them.  

The bus interior... a bus full of clowns, LOL!!

The $500p has a picture of Diego Rivera one of México's most famous muralist/ painters, also the husband of the famous Frida Kahlo.  We had a 2 day lesson on these artist in class at BEST, here they make the real world connection. 

Volunteering magic

There is definitely magic that happens between these very 2 different group of kids.  It's a great example of how the core of humanity is the same and how that core transcends nationality, religion, language, and culture.  

Our students' assignment today was to do exercise drills.  Michael and Javon led that, then marching drills led by Mr Swann. After that was arts and crafts time.  I'll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves! 

The sign they had made for us!! I almost cried y'all!!! I'm a G like 95% of the time then something like this happens.  So sweet!  Our BEST boys have truly gone global.

Video is military marching:

Chaperones with Laura the Director of el Renacer de Mayab

Quran and kids

DeSean, Omar, and kids


Art activity

Dr Malik and her little ladies

Dulce and Sheldon

DeSean, Immanuel, Dra Malik, and the artistas 

Alpha, Rashad, and Nokio showing off the paper airplanes they made with friends 

Rashad and Omar 

Michael Brenden and friends

Michael and his new friend.  So cool!! 

Dulce, Sheldon, and friend

Quran working hard to teach our friends the art project 

Quran and the little ladies

Nokio and friends 

The BEST boys didn't want to leave and  the the Mayab kids didn't want us to leave, tomorrow we will be back!